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News Release

Date: March 5, 2008
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

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Montgomery College Presents WillPower!—A Celebration of Shakespeare
Week of Events Includes Performances, Lectures, and Workshops, March 24-28

EDITORS: For high resolution images to accompany this release, please visit

In celebration of William Shakespeare, Montgomery College will host “WillPower!,” a series of performances, lectures, and workshops from March 24–28. The following events will take place at the College’s Theatre Arts Arena, located on the Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md.

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) on Tour, the touring arm of the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, will perform two plays for WillPower!—“The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Merchant of Venice.” The internationally acclaimed ASC on Tour is a troupe of actors with members from across the United States and abroad. The ensemble performs under conditions closely approximating those for which Shakespeare originally wrote. These plays are free and open to the public.

  • “The Taming of the Shrew” – Monday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
    Shakespeare’s hilarious play is much more than a “battle of the sexes.” It is also a profound look at the absolute necessity of “play” in our lives. Blending romantic comedy and outlandish farce, Shakespeare gives us a love story of psychological liberation and the mysteries of being married.
  • “The Merchant of Venice” – Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.
    From Shylock’s unjust Venice to Portia’s golden Belmont, the play is at once a comic love story and a passionate discourse on justice and mercy. Both entertaining and disturbing, this magnificent comedy will have you asking, “Who are the heroes and who are the villains?”

The featured lecture during WillPower! is the Adrian Webber Memorial Lecture by Dr. Katherine Aron-Beller from George Washington University. This lecture is free and open to the public.

  • Adrian Webber Memorial Lecture – Tuesday, March 25 at 12:30 p.m.
    Dr. Katherine Aron-Beller’s talk, entitled “If you prick us do we not bleed?,” will address the complexity of Shakespeare’s character Shylock from “The Merchant of Venice.”

Dinner and Movie:

  • TheatreCafé! – Friday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. ($15 per person)
    Enjoy a hearty Renaissance meal provided by caterer Anna Saint John and learn more about Shakespeare from Mistress of Revels Cam Magee of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The entertainment ends with a screening of the 2004 movie, “Stage Beauty,” set in 1660s England. “Stage Beauty” is rated R. Please note: There is a charge of $15 per person for this event and reservations are required. To reserve your seat or to obtain more information, please contact Rachael Wilson at or 240-567-4008.

There are many other lectures and workshops for the public to attend during WillPower! To see a complete schedule of events, visit or call 240-567-4001.

Support for WillPower! is provided by The Webber Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by Montgomery College’s Arts Institute; the Department of Speech, Dance, and Theatre; and the Department of English Composition, Literature, and Professional Writing.

To request accommodations for a disability for WillPower! events, call 240-567-5250.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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